A little over a year and half ago I started geocaching. Over 350 found caches later, it’s safe to say I’m hooked. I took a tiny hiatus at the end of last year but the past two months Jeff and I have been going hard. I feel like I’m mentioning it just about every single blog post, and with good reason, it’s a blast!
For those of you not familiar, geocaching is a worldwide treasure hunt of sorts. Participants use GPS to navigate to containers that other users have hidden. A traditional geocache will be a waterproof container with a log book and sometimes trade items inside. Treasures inside aren’t usually worth much but are still fun to find. According to the official website there are over 2.8 million active geocaches, and 3 million active geocachers worldwide! The app is free to download but you’ll need a subscription to find all of the caches available. It’s $30 for the whole year which is a very small price to pay for a rad hobby.
It’s become something I’m so passionate about I thought it was high time to share some reasons why I think you should geocache as well…
The cache was easy to find but which one of the containers inside holds the log?
Fun for the whole family.
That’s probably the cheesiest way I could write that, right? It’s true though. I’ve mentioned it before and I’ll probably say it again but geocaching together is one of my favorite ways to bond with my brothers. I love piling into the car with them and then rushing out to try to be the one who finds the cache. It brings the whole family together.
I feel like it’s a great way for Jeff and I to connect as well. It’s fun to go on silly little adventures with your partner.
My brother, my nephew + my boyfriend all looking for a cache.
Discover new places.
I’m an advocate for exploring everywhere. This doesn’t just mean somewhere across the world, it means EVERYWHERE. This perfectly describes the ethos of this hobby. Geocaching is an excellent way to be drawn to some really neat places that you may otherwise look over.
I’ve spent a lot of time around the Cleveland area beaches. I thought I was super familiar but it wasn’t until I started geocaching that I was led to this one with that amazing view of the skyline. Geocaching also led me to one of the coolest cemeteries I’ve ever visited. Chances are geocaching will lead you to places that you never even knew existed.
Another cheesy but true reason. I love that geocaching gets me outside. I love exercising, and I know that it makes me feel happier but that doesn’t mean I don’t need a little push to get outside. So often I’m distracted by the hunt that I don’t even realize how much walking I’m doing. Just a few weekends ago, Jeff and I hiked forty five minutes (one way!) out on a break wall in the lake to search. It was a tough little adventure that I know for certain I would have called it quits on mid-way through had I not had a purpose to get out there.
Sense of community.
One of my favorite things about geocaching is how it’s like a secret club. I mean, if you ask me about it, I’ll gladly give you the whole spiel and try to convince you to start too… It’s just really fun to find something that a thousand other people have walked past, something you may have even walked past at one point. It’s a feeling of community without really having to interact with anyone else if you don’t want to. There’s this connection with these people you’ve never even met because you both have ventured off the beaten path just to find a container with a piece of paper inside so you could write your name.
It can be challenging.
There are lots of caches that fall under the category of “park and grab” which is exactly what it sounds like. Somewhere you can park your car and find the cache in mere moments. Those are fine… but I LOVE a challege. I like when I have to stop and think about the hints provided or what around me could possibly be hiding the log. The critical thinking aspect of geocaching is really fun.
Some fun finds I’ve encountered – Faux hardware, like the bolt above. It was screwed into a guardrail. Once you cross off all obvious places a cache could be that when the wheels in your brain really have to start spinning. We’ve found a multi-cache where the coordinates led you to a container with a key inside but then you had to figure out what around you to unlock to be able to sign the log. Another favorite? Actual logs containing logs. In the photo below, that little stump is the cache. Once flipped over you’ll find what you’re looking for tucked inside a drilled out hole. Geocaching has me looking at places and objects in a whole different way.
One of my all time favorites, The Apache Death Cave.
Do you geocache? If not, you’re going to start now, RIGHT? I avoided it for a long time for a myriad of dumb reasons (lazy, didn’t see the appeal, intimidated by a hobby others seemed to know so much about, etc) but can’t imagine life without it now. In my list of favorite hobbies it ranks closely with photography and bicycling. The great thing is that I can usually find a way to do all three at once. (This path is lined with caches. What’s cooler than that!?)